Show 464, March 5, 2022: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Orange County Restaurant Week, an entire week dedicated to celebrating local restaurants, returns Sunday, March 6 through Saturday, March 12. This year’s event will highlight more than 120 restaurants that have thoughtfully crafted menus and cocktails designed to showcase Orange County’s diverse dining options. Diners will have an opportunity to partake in a variety of Prix-Fixe Menus and Luxe Menus. In addition, the always anticipated Cocktails of Restaurant Week will showcase unique creations.” Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef and Partner Jared Cook will be participating with all their restaurants. The collection includes Vine, San Clemente: Ironwood, Laguna Hills; Olea, Newport Beach: and Sapphire & The Pantry, Laguna Beach. Russ and Chef Jared join us to preview their special OC Restaurant Week menus.

Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena offers a fine dining interpretation of a Modern American Steakhouse with hints of global influences throughout the menu. Featuring classic cuts such as Ribeye, Bone-In New York and Filet Mignon, to sustainable seafood, their signature Hamachi Shot and a large selection of Wagyu. Alexander’s also highlights dry-aged steaks and offers the finest and most luxurious products available including a Chef’s Tasting Menu and an extensive and thoughtfully selected Wine List.” Highly credentialed Executive Chef Richard Archuleta (ex-One Pico at Shutters on the Beach and Openaire at The Line Hotel) with a background in French and Italian cuisine is the culinary maestro overseeing the substantial kitchens at Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena. Chef Richard Archuleta is our guest.

“Twenty-five years after naming his wine brand Vinoce, Proprietor Brian Nuss (Napa Valley based) finds himself in a revitalization mode as he and the rest of the world emerges from the pandemic. Which leads him to proclaim, “I don’t want this winery to go away. It’s been part of my life since 1996. But this reinvention is not for me; it’s for my sons Tim and Tyler.” In 2013, Keith Emerson initially came on as associate winemaker to make the Vinoce wines. Emerson, the winemaker at Vineyard 29, is now Vinoce’s winemaker as well. The wine is made in St. Helena at Emerson’s Vineyard 29 and Ballentine Vineyards. Vinoce produces about 2,000 cases a year. In 2019 Vinoce opened their tasting room at the historic Tannery building in Napa on the Napa River.” Winemaker Keith Emerson joins us to uncork all that is Vinoce Vineyards.

“The iconic Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant is a well-established lodging institution in San Luis Obispo. The guest options among their 106 rooms range from deluxe rooms at Apple Farm Inn to a welcoming motel setting at the Trellis Court surrounded by shade trees, flower gardens, and mountain views.” There are multiple varieties of apple trees growing on the spacious grounds. The Inn is especially popular with the extended Family of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. “The Apple Farm Inn Restaurant is currently serving breakfast and lunch specializing in fresh, local ingredients and good, old-fashioned cooking.” General Manager Sean Nolan is our guest to provide a look at the past of Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant and what’s in store for the future with the ongoing renovation.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew, among many attributes, is a recognized authority on seafood and its sourcing. Chef Andrew’s commentary is on seafood imports and exports. A few surprises along the way.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

March 5: OC Restaurant Week, Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena, Vinoce, Apple Farm Inn

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook with a Preview of OC Restaurant Week Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook with a Preview of OC Restaurant Week Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Richard Archuleta, Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Richard Archuleta, Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena Part Two
Segment Six: Winemaker Keith Emerson, Vinoce, Napa
Segment Seven: Sean Nolan, General Manager, Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant, San Luis Obispo
Segment Eight: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

We’re previewing the show with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris.

Orange County Restaurant Week, an entire week dedicated to celebrating local restaurants, returns Sunday, March 6 through Saturday, March 12. This year’s event will highlight more than 120 restaurants that have thoughtfully crafted menus and cocktails designed to showcase Orange County’s diverse dining options. Diners will have an opportunity to partake in a variety of Prix-Fixe Menus and Luxe Menus. In addition, the always anticipated Cocktails of Restaurant Week will showcase unique creations.” Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef and Partner Jared Cook will be participating with all their restaurants. The collection includes Vine, San Clemente: Ironwood, Laguna Hills; Olea, Newport Beach: and Sapphire & The Pantry, Laguna Beach. Russ and Chef Jared join us to preview their special OC Restaurant Week menus.

“Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena offers a fine dining interpretation of a Modern American Steakhouse with hints of global influences throughout the menu. Featuring classic cuts such as Ribeye, Bone-In New York and Filet Mignon, to sustainable seafood, their signature Hamachi Shot and a large selection of Wagyu. Alexander’s also highlights dry-aged steaks and offers the finest and most luxurious products available including a Chef’s Tasting Menu and an extensive and thoughtfully selected Wine List.” Highly credentialed Executive Chef Richard Archuleta (ex-One Pico at Shutters on the Beach and Openaire at The Line Hotel) with a background in French and Italian cuisine is the culinary maestro overseeing the substantial kitchens at Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena. Chef Richard Archuleta is our guest.

“Twenty-five years after naming his wine brand Vinoce, Proprietor Brian Nuss (Napa Valley based) finds himself in a revitalization mode as he and the rest of the world emerges from the pandemic. Which leads him to proclaim, “I don’t want this winery to go away. It’s been part of my life since 1996. But this reinvention is not for me; it’s for my sons Tim and Tyler.” In 2013, Keith Emerson initially came on as associate winemaker to make the Vinoce wines. Emerson, the winemaker at Vineyard 29, is now Vinoce’s winemaker as well. The wine is made in St. Helena at Emerson’s Vineyard 29 and Ballentine Vineyards. Vinoce produces about 2,000 cases a year. In 2019 Vinoce opened their tasting room at the historic Tannery building in Napa on the Napa River.” Winemaker Keith Emerson joins us to uncork all that is Vinoce Vineyards.

“The iconic Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant is a well-established lodging institution in San Luis Obispo. The guest options among their 106 rooms range from deluxe rooms at Apple Farm Inn to a welcoming motel setting at the Trellis Court surrounded by shade trees, flower gardens, and mountain views. There are multiple varieties of apple trees growing on the spacious grounds.” The Inn is especially popular with the extended Family of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. “The Apple Farm Inn Restaurant is currently serving breakfast and lunch specializing in fresh, local ingredients and good, old-fashioned cooking.” General Manager Sean Nolan is our guest to provide a look at the past of Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant and what’s in store for the future with the ongoing renovation.

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew, among many attributes, is a recognized authority on seafood and its sourcing. Chef Andrew’s commentary is on seafood imports and exports. A few surprises along the way.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Russ Bendel of Ironwood, Olea and VIne

Orange County Restaurant Week, an entire week dedicated to celebrating local restaurants, returns Sunday, March 6 through Saturday, March 12. This year’s event will highlight more than 120 restaurants that have thoughtfully crafted menus and cocktails designed to showcase Orange County’s diverse dining options. Diners will have an opportunity to partake in a variety of Prix-Fixe Menus and Luxe Menus; as well as focused experiences, including Family Night, Date Night, Vegetarian Dining, and a Dessert Spotlight. In addition, the beloved Cocktails of Restaurant Week will showcase unique creations.”

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef and Partner Jared Cook will be participating with all their restaurants. The collection includes Vine, San Clemente: Ironwood, Laguna Hills; Olea, Newport Beach: and Sapphire & The Pantry, Laguna Beach. Russ and Chef Jared join us to preview their OC Restaurant Week menus.

Chef Jared Cook

Their “Featured Cocktail” is Whiskey Peach. It’s Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Aperol, Crème de Peach, Fresh Peaches and Ginger.

In the late Fall Russ and Chef Jared will be debuting Bloom Restaurant & Bar located in a registered historic site building from 1930 in San Juan Capistrano.

Richard Archuleta of Alexander's Steakhouse Pasadena

Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena offers a fine dining interpretation of a Modern American Steakhouse with hints of global influences throughout the menu. Featuring classic cuts such as Ribeye, Bone-In New York and Filet Mignon, to sustainable seafood, their signature Hamachi Shot and a large selection of Wagyu. Alexander’s also highlights dry-aged steaks and offers the finest and most luxurious products available including a Chef’s Tasting menu and an extensive and thoughtfully selected Wine List. A full bar featuring some of the most unique specialty cocktails and is a great way to begin your evening at Alexander’s Steakhouse.”

Highly credentialed Executive Chef Richard Archuleta (ex-One Pico at Shutters on the Beach and Openaire at The Line Hotel) with a background in French and Italian cuisine is the culinary maestro overseeing the substantial kitchens at Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena and is our guest.

Keith Emerson of Vinoce

Twenty-five years after naming his wine brand Vinoce, Proprietor Brian Nuss (Napa Valley based) finds himself in a revitalization mode as he and the rest of the world emerges from the pandemic. Which leads him to proclaim, “I don’t want this winery to go away. It’s been part of my life since 1996. But this reinvention is not for me; it’s for my sons Tim and Tyler.””

“Nuss called his winery Vinoce (pronounced veen-O-chay), which he translates as “wine nut.” He coined the word in tribute to his German-Italian heritage; “nuss” means nut in German, and “noce” is nut in Italian. Brian’s mom was Italian-Spanish, while his dad was German-English.”

“Over the last three decades, Vinoce has developed an intimate knowledge of growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc on the rugged, hillside slopes. Vinoce is devoted to creating wines that reflect the true expressions of Mount Veeder with balance, power, and uniqueness.”

“In 2013, Keith Emerson initially came on as associate winemaker to make the Vinoce wines. Emerson, the winemaker at Vineyard 29, is now Vinoce’s winemaker as well. The wine is made in St. Helena at Emerson’s Vineyard 29 and Ballentine Vineyards. Vinoce’s Mount Veeder fruit comes from an 8-acre estate vineyard near PymRae Nuss purchased and planted in ‘13. Vinoce produces about 2,000 cases a year.”

In 2019 Vinoce opened their tasting room at the historic Tannery building in Napa on the Napa River.

Winemaker Keith Emerson joins us to uncork all that is Vinoce Vineyards.

Sean Nolan of Apple Farm Inn

The historic Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant is a well-established lodging institution in San Luis Obispo. “The guest options in their 106 rooms range from deluxe rooms at Apple Farm Inn to a welcoming motel setting at the Trellis Court surrounded by shade trees, flower gardens, and mountain views.” There are multiple varieties of apple trees growing on the spacious grounds. The Inn is especially popular with the extended Family of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

“With three floors mixing contemporary country design with elegant accommodations, the main Inn boasts rooms with seating areas, gas fireplaces, Wi-Fi, and more to create a perfect setting for relaxing. Adjacent to the Apple Farm Inn, Trellis Court Motel contains all the comforts of the Inn with cozier rooms and the convenience of a motel setting. This includes exterior corridors and drive-up access.”

The Apple Farm Inn Restaurant is currently serving breakfast and lunch specializing in fresh, local ingredients and good, old-fashioned cooking. Whether you come to share a meal with your friends and family, to pick something up to-go, or just to check the place out and shop in the Marketplace, The Apple Farm Inn Restaurant staff hopes you’ll stop in! A favorite spot of locals and visitors alike, the Apple Farm Restaurant has delivered local farm-to-table cuisine, fresh pastries, and acclaimed pies to hungry patrons for decades!”

General Manager Sean Nolan is our guest to provide a look at the past of Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant and what’s in store for the future with the ongoing renovation.

Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group

Our own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries.

Chef Andrew, among many attributes, is a nationally recognized authority on seafood, sustainability and it’s sourcing. Chef Andrew’s commentary is on seafood imports and exports. A few surprises along the way.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Executive Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook with a Preview of OC Restaurant Week Part One
Segment Three: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook with a Preview of OC Restaurant Week Part Two
Segment Four: Executive Chef Richard Archuleta, Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena Part One
Segment Five: Executive Chef Richard Archuleta, Alexander’s Steakhouse Pasadena Part Two
Segment Six: Winemaker Keith Emerson, Vinoce, Napa
Segment Seven: Sean Nolan, General Manager, Apple Farm Inn & Restaurant, San Luis Obispo
Segment Eight: Chef & Co-Host Andrew Gruel of Slapfish with “Ask the Chef”

Show 391, September 19, 2020: Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook of Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, Laguna Beach

Chef Jared CookOrange County Restaurant Week Uncorked is on now through Saturday, September 26th. Orange County restaurants are participating with value priced menus available for lunch and/or dinner. Some have specialty cocktails as part of their offerings. The restaurants encourage you to get the full guest experience with the return of dine-in with proper social distancing but most menus are also available To-Go.

Restaurateur Russ Bendel and Executive Chef Jared Cook join us to tempt with their prix fixe dinner menus at Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook in Laguna Beach, Ironwood in Laguna Hills, Olea in Newport Beach, and Vine Restaurant & Bar in San Clemente.

Their special cocktail for OC Restaurant Week Uncorked is The Woodpecker. It’s Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Aperol, Crème de Peach, Fresh Peaches and Ginger.

The prix fixe dinner menu is three courses with choices in each category and priced at $50.00. Entree possibilities are Zinfandel Braised Napa Lamb Shank, Certified Double R Ranch Bone-In Ribeye Steak and Wild Caught Alaskan Halibut.

Show 229, June 24, 2017: Restaurateur Russ Bendel, Ironwood, Laguna Hills

Russ BendelThree words — cellar, craft, cook — capture the essence of the year-old Russ Bendel-conceived restaurant Ironwood in Laguna Hills , which uped the ante on the south Orange County dining scene with worldwide wine selections, craft beers, creative cocktails and wine country cuisine made daily with the freshest and finest seasonal ingredients by Bendel’s partner, chef Jared Cook (Vine.)

Ironwood’s offerings showcase seasonal ingredients of the highest quality that are prepared daily from scratch. Guests have the choice of selecting from more than 25 global wine selections by the glass, from a cozy indoor bar and dining area or from an outdoor patio featuring spectacular views of Saddleback Mountain. Ironwood is open for dinner only.

Bendel, a longtime fixture on the Orange County dining scene who honed his craft at such fine establishments as Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Newport Beach, assumed ownership of Vine Restaurant & Bar, a Napa Valley-influenced restaurant in San Clemente in 2013. Jared Cook also heads up culinary at the critically-acclaimed, popular eatery. Another Fleming’s veteran and certified sommelier, Kevin Franke, serves as operating partner.

The name of the restaurant was inspired by the evergreen desert tree, the Ironwood, known for its hardiness and used for handles of culinary tools. Two Ironwood trees grace the entrance to the restaurant.

Proprietor Russ Bendel is our guest.